Francis then brought up several points which for him are key themes for the missionaries to keep in mind while carrying out their role throughout the Holy Year.
The first thing he asked them to remember is that "you are called to express the maternity of the Church."
"The Church is Mother" not only because she continuously generates new children in the faith, but also because she nurtures that faith and offers the forgiveness of God and new life, "(which is) the fruit of conversion," he said.
If this perception of the Church as Mother fails "due to our rigidity, it would be a serious damage first of all for faith itself, because it would prevent the penitent from being inserted into the Body of Christ," the Pope said, adding that it would also limit the penitent's ability to feel like a part of the community.
What the missionaries are called to express instead, is a Church who, as a mother, "welcomes anyone who approaches her, knowing that through her they are inserted into Christ."
No matter what the sin is that's been confessed, "every missionary is called to remember their own sinful existence and humbly place themselves as a channel of God's mercy," he said.
Pope Francis then underlined the importance of the desire of forgiveness in the heart of those who come to confession.
This desire is the fruit of both grace and its action in peoples' lives, he said, reminding the missionaries that "this desire is the beginning of conversion." Conversion, he noted, begins when the heart recognizes the evil it has done, but turns to God with the hope of obtaining forgiveness.
A person's desire for forgiveness is strengthened when they decide "in their own heart to change their life and they don't want to sin anymore," Francis explained, and told the missionaries to "give a lot of space for this desire for God and for his forgiveness."
In his final point, the Pope pointed to "a component which is not spoken of much, but which is rather crucial: shame."
It's not easy to come before another man, a representative of God, and confess one's sins, he noted, explaining that shame "is an intimate feeling that affects one's personal life and requires an attitude of respect and encouragement on the part of the confessor."
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Pointing to the image of Noah naked in the tent, Pope Francis said the passage, to him, emphasizes the importance of the role of a confessor.
"Before us there is a nude person, with their weaknesses and their limits, with the shame of being a sinner," he said, and urged the missionaries to always remember that it's not sin that sits in front of them in the confessional, but a repentant sinner.
Francis then noted that it's not "the club of judgment" that brings lost sheep back to the flock, but rather, personal holiness, which he said is the true the source of renewal and reform within the Church.
"Holiness is nurtured by love and knows how to bring upon itself the weight of those who are most weak," he said, explaining that the role of a missionary of mercy is to carry the sinner "on their own back," and console them with "the strength of compassion."
The Pope told the missionaries, when burdened by the weight of the sins confessed to them as well as their own personal limitations and lack of words, to put their trust "in the strength of mercy, which goes out to everyone as a love which knows no bounds."
He closed his address by assuring the missionaries of his prayers and asking that Mary would assist and intercede for them in their service during the Jubilee.